FAQs about Applying to the MPS in Dairy Products Technology Program

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Note: this is an updated version of an article published January 8, 2015.

We hope Cal Poly’s MPS in Dairy Products Technology program is in your plans. If it is, you’ll need to take some initial steps toward applying. If you have questions about the application process or need assistance, I’m here to help! Please feel free to contact me at:

Tom Johnson, MPS Program Manager
Email: tjohns47@calpoly.edu
Cell: (970) 215-3459

In the meantime, here are the answers to questions I frequently receive from students considering applying to the program:

I am interested in applying. How do I get started?
The first step is to send me a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae. You can send it to me at tjohns47@calpoly.edu

You will also need to complete our online application. Completed applications must include the following:

  • A formal application made through CSUMentor (online or using a downloaded application form). See the CSUMentor Application Instructions for a detailed guide on how to apply.
  • In addition to your CSUMentor application, you must establish an Interfolio account following this Interfolio Link 30539. Interfolio is the online provider that we use for prospective students to create an ePortfolio.
  • Through Interfolio, upload your unofficial transcripts and self-reported GRE scores. Official transcripts from ALL colleges previously attended (except Cal Poly), should be sent directly from your university to Cal Poly’s Admissions Office. Your official GRE scores should be sent to Cal Poly’s Admissions office. Scores may also be sent directly to Cal Poly using institution code 4038.
  • A minimum of two letters of recommendation (three are recommended) from faculty members or professional references on institutional/company letterhead, addressed to: Thomas W. Johnson, Program Manager, Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0358. Interfolio will provide instructions to help your references upload their letters of recommendation directly to Interfolio.
  • See the ePortfolio Guidelines document for a detailed walkthrough of the Interfolio application process.

When is the application deadline?
All applications must be submitted by April 1. You will have an additional 30 days to submit test scores, transcripts, and recommendations.

Should I wait until I have GRE scores to submit my application?
No – there is no reason to wait to submit your application. We review applications as we receive them, so it is in your interest to submit your application before the class fills.

Is the GRE always required? Can I submit other test results instead?
We require that all applicants submit GRE scores.

How important are GRE scores?
We use GRE scores to ensure that our students have a level of proficiency that suggests they will be successful at the graduate level. That said, GRE scores are no more important than other factors, such as grade point average, recommendations, career objectives, and leadership experience.

Is there a minimum GRE score?
We look for students to score in the upper 50th percentile of all GRE test takers.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
We require that students have a minimum GPA of 2.75, with above-average performance in science courses. However, we have made exceptions for students who exhibit significant leadership potential or other attributes the program seeks.

Will you require an interview?
We may request the opportunity to communicate with you, either in person (if you’re on campus) or by Skype (if you are not). This will help us get to know you and better understand how the MPS program will help you reach your career goals.

How soon will I know whether I am accepted to the program?
We use a rolling admissions process. Once your application file is complete, we aim to get you a decision within 30 days.

How should I submit my letters of recommendation?
Please have your references address their letters to Program Manager Tom Johnson and upload them through Interfolio (see above for instructions).

Where should I send my transcripts?
Official transcripts from all universities attended should be sent to:

Cal Poly State University
One Grand Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Do I need to submit transcripts for classes I completed in community college, junior college or summer school?
Cal Poly requires submission of transcripts for all college-level courses taken. Failure to request transcripts from all schools you attended may delay your admission to the program.

Is food or dairy science experience required?
We do not require applicants to have prior experience in food or dairy science. It is important that you have have had at least some college-level biology and chemistry in order to prepare you for the concepts you will be exposed to in the MPS program. If you would like to discuss whether you are sufficiently prepared for the program, please contact me. There may be time to take “refresher” courses prior to beginning the program.

Do you welcome “nontraditional” students?
We welcome students of all ages and backgrounds. We strive for a mix of students, including some who are returning to school after gaining experience in the military or in the workplace.

For answers to other common questions, please visit our FAQ page here: http://mpsdairy.calpoly.edu/frequently-asked-questions

Stay tuned for important program updates by visiting the MPS blog at: http://www.calpolydptcareer.com.

Tom Photo 2015
Tom Johnson. Program Manager
MPS in Dairy Products Technology
(970) 215-3459 cell